Stop & Shop Employee, Shopper Put Out Car Fire

David Creed •

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Miles McGeoghegan arrived at the mid-island Stop & Shop Tuesday afternoon just before 3 p.m. for what he expected would be an ordinary shift at the grocery store. But just minutes into his work day, he saw a white work van up in flames in the parking lot.

“I had just gotten in and started my shift, then I saw flames pouring outside of the car,” he said. “I saw the man who I think was the owner and he was panicked because why wouldn’t he be. But I saw the fire, I went inside to get a fire extinguisher and another guy (island dentist Matt Roberts, who was shopping at the time) had the same idea and was grabbing one too, and the two of us grabbed fire extinguishers and went directly out there.”

Roberts stopped at the grocery store quickly before picking up his kids from soccer camp. He said he felt bad for the driver, who was throwing his 12 ounce cup of water on the vehicle in an attempt to put it out, but to no avail.

"I was checking out and saw that (fire), headed for the fire extinguishers where Miles was pulling one too and I hit it from one side and he did the other," Roberts said. "Then we soaked the air vents at the windshield and through the radiator to try and ensure it didn't spread from the dash to the engine. Then Joe Townsend was there and told us to get away and NFD had it."

The fire department responded to the reported car fire and was on site within minutes, but McGeoghegan had already put the fire out. His swift response saved the fire from spreading and further damaging the vehicle or injuring people around it.

The NFD was continuing to evaluate the vehicle to ensure the fire was out in its entirety once they arrived on the scene, but public safety officials and Stop & Shop management and workers praised McGeoghegan for his swift response in what could have been a much worse situation.

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